BLUEPRINTS unites pianists from different musical genres for eclectic concerts that present traditional classical music alongside contemporary works (including premieres), jazz and free improvisation. Co-founded by Daniel Anastasio and Erika Dohi, these unusually varied programs are each inspired by an aesthetic theme or blueprint.
In the past two seasons, BLUEPRINTS hosted over 20 guests pianists who each shared their own unique voice, including award-winning jazz artists Fabian Almazan and John Stetch, improviser and composer Kris Davis and Sylvie Courvoisier, acclaimed classical pianists Miri Yampolsky and Christina Dahl, and contemporary music specialists Lisa Moore and Blair McMillen, among others.
From improvisations based on Sun Ra and György Ligeti, to a revival of Jelly Roll Morton's jazz style, to works from Rameau to Stockhausen, to commissions by Leah Asher, Kris Davis, Jonathan Ragonese, and Carl Schimmel, to additional world premieres by Wadada Leo Smith and Scott Wollschleger, these programs have garnered praise for shining light on exceptional rising performers and composers, and sparking communication and collaboration between musicians of distinct fields. BLUEPRINTS also collaborates with abstract artists, and has commissioned over twenty artworks from Peter Bruun, and eight from Melanie Reese. Each of these works relates explicitly to the music on the programs.
The series' upcoming season brings a new collaboration with Metropolis Ensemble, yielding an ambitious, month-long project involving new artists, bolder collaborations, brand new works, and adventurous programming.
Daniel Anastasio is a soloist and chamber musician whose “technical prowess and emotional sensitivity” is imbued with an intellectual curiosity (Elise Urrutia, Rivard Report). Conducted by Leon Fleisher with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Anastasio’s performance of Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto was “the highlight to everyone’s ears, if the full-house standing ovation were any indication” (Tyran Grillo, ECM reviews).
As chamber music has become a fundamental element in his musical life in addition to his solo playing, he enjoys collaborations at an international level. He was most recently a guest with the principal winds of the San Antonio Symphony (Olmos Ensemble), and has performed with Musical Bridges around the World, Astral Artists, and at Cornell University’s Mayfest, an international chamber music festival led by Xak Bjerken and Miri Yampolsky. In addition, Mr. Anastasio has collaborated with acclaimed violinist Joseph Lin, flutist Carol Winenc, clarinetist Alan Kay, and percussionist Eduardo Leandro, among others. A proponent of outreach, he is a member of Bridge Arts Ensemble, which offers performances and clinics at public schools in the greater New York area. He is also the pianist of Unheard-of, a Clarinet Trio ensemble dedicated to commissioning composers and premiering their works. He has been privileged to be a part of summer music festivals for over a decade, and has most recently attended Yellow Barn Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, and Kneisel Hall.
Mr. Anastasio earned his B.A. in both Music and Philosophy at Cornell University, studying with Xak Bjerken; he proceeded to earn a M.M. at Juilliard under Jerome Lowenthal, and currently studies with Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl at Stony Brook University, where he is finishing his Doctorate of Musical Arts. He is indebted to Rebecca Stevens Wilcox, his teacher throughout his early years in San Antonio, TX, for her ongoing support in all of his musical pursuits.
Pianist Erika Dohi, a multi-faceted artist with an eclectic musical background that ranges from traditionally classical to jazz, free improvisation, and new music, has been described as a “dynamic” performer whose “technique is decidedly unidiomatic” (Classicalite). Most recently, Erika appeared at The Hollywood Bowl with indie band Wye Oak, opening for Bon Iver and Tu Dance with a Metropolis Ensemble performance of William Brittelle's Spiritual America. In May, she performed with the six-piano group Grand Band at Liquid Music series, which included a commissioned world-premiere by Missy Mazzoli. As an improviser, she joined Wadada Leo Smith during his residency at The Stone.
Erika is the co-founder of BLUEPRINTS Piano Series, which she directs with her husband Daniel Anastasio. The series unites pianists from different genres for concerts that mix classical music, contemporary, jazz, and improvisation. The last two seasons featured a variety of New York pianists including Fabian Almazan, Christina Dahl, Kris Davis, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore and Miri Yampolsky, and was hosted by multiple venues including The Jazz Gallery, Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, Greenwich House Music School and Spectrum.
Erika is also the co-founder of RighteousGIRLS with flutist Gina Izzo. This duo fuses classical, contemporary, and jazz, while inviting some of today’s most prominent composers to create genre-blurring new music. RighteousGIRLS’s album gathering blue has been met with critical acclaim from both jazz and contemporary-classical critics alike; Jackson Cooper, from I Care If You Listen, called it “…one of the most adventurous new music debut albums in recent years.” gathering blue received a 4.5 stars rating by John Ephland in DownBeat magazine. The duo has recently received a 2016 IMPACT award, and 2015 New Music USA Awards Grant, and a 2014 Independent Music Awards Nomination for gathering blue (Best Album) and KARakurENAI (Best Instrumental) by composer/steel-pannist Andy Akiho.
This past summer, she performed in the Central Park Summer Stage with Ensemble LPR, featuring David Bowie’s Blackstar arranged by Evan Ziporyn, along with the Donny McCaslin Group. In addition, she has made appearances at international festivals including the D.C. Jazz Festival with Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra (U.S), Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music (Canada), Tokyo Experimental Festival (Japan), INTERSECT Festival in Bryant Park with the Metropolis Ensemble, and at the Time’s Arrow: Webern festival, for which she performed both solo and chamber works. Additionally she has performed alongside contemporary ensembles including American Modern Ensemble, The Knights, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
Erika received her B.M. and M.M. from Manhattan School of Music, and her D.M.A. from Stony Brook University under Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl.